Who wouldn’t love to get a box packed with delicious treats each month? Since 2015 TokyoTreat has been delivering the latest in Japan-exclusive snacks and sweets, and last February they launched their sister service, Sakuraco. Inspired by wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets), Sakuraco’s goal is sharing Japanese culture through themed boxes of snacks and teas, inspired by the seasons, regions and flavors.
I had the opportunity to try the October “Flavors of Mt. Fuji” box, which draws on Japan’s highest peak for inspiration and includes fruity fare from Yamanashi and fragrant green tea from Shizuoka – the two prefectures sharing boundaries with the famous mountain.
As soon as I opened the box, I was drawn in by the evocative words written on the inside lid: “It’s nice to meet you. Let’s have tea.” With an invitation like this, I wasted no time in putting on the kettle and perusing the contents before the rest of the family could swoop in.
What is Sakuraco?
Sakuraco is a Tokyo-based startup that works directly with similar small, local companies around Japan, many of whom have been proudly producing their traditional treats for decades. You won’t find any mass-produced items or unsubstantial “filler” fare in Sakuraco’s boxes. They carefully curate each month’s selection of snacks, building close relationships with the makers and helping them to share their products with subscribers around the world. It’s good to know that you can support small businesses and enjoy delicious snacks at the same time.
I was impressed by not only the quality but the wide variety of treats in the box. As a lover of fruit and chocolate, my favorites were probably the White Peach Milk Manju and the Kyoho Grape Chocolate Crunch. I am not usually a fan of pumpkin sweets, as desserts like pumpkin pie were not part of my Kiwi culture. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the delicate taste and texture of the Kabocha Pudding Bread. Moreover, each month there’s an item of tableware to enhance your teatime experience and I loved the whimsical little Mount Fuji Owan Bowl in my box, which is perfect for seasonal snacks or fruit.
Other family members picked the Green Tea Leaf Cookies, miniature melt-in-the mouth macha butter cookies, and the Miso Arare, crisp rice snacks seasoned with soy sauce and red miso, as their top treats. There were also cute items with the kawaii factor to appeal to kids (or your inner child), such as the mountain-shaped Red Fuji Cookies, topped with pastel pink icing “snow,” and the Kokeshi Doll Senbei, inspired by traditional children’s toys. For sheer sophistication, however, my vote goes to the Green Tea Dacquoise, a Japanese-French fusion of macha cream sandwiched between elegant meringue infused with green tea.
Sakuraco Treats and Much More
Along with the assortment of 20 different kinds of snacks and teas, each box also contains a 24-page full-color culture guide with photos and details about each snack, including common allergens contained in each one. This information is very useful if you might be sharing with family or friends who have food allergies.
I appreciated that Sakuraco clearly indicates if each treat is suitable for vegetarians like me in the descriptions, too. The booklet also contains interesting articles, and October’s includes features on Shizuoka’s tea industry, Yamanashi’s fruit, and, of course, the iconic Mount Fuji.
With travel options limited right now and the holidays on the horizon, Sakuraco treat boxes would be a perfect present for family overseas, or for that special Japanophile in your life. There are a variety of subscription plans and Sakuraco loves connecting with subscribers in particular and fans of Japanese culture in general through their social media channels. Sakuraco teatime treat boxes are the gifts that will keep giving, month after delicious month.
Find out more on Sakuraco’s website (sakura.co)